ENVIRONMENT,Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Prisca Mupfumira says the re-launch of the Dar es Salaam, Harare route by Air Tanzania will help with connectivity issues for tourists between Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
Air Tanzania had stopped servicing the route about two decades ago and its return is tipped to go a long way in boosting the much-needed investor confidence in the country.
Speaking at the re-launch of the route, Minister Mupfumira said the coming of Air Tanzania highlights the good relations between the two countries.
“It is my great honour and privilege to officiate at this milestone occasion, the re-launch by Air Tanzania of the Dar es Salaam to Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport Route, having stopped the operation some two decades ago.
“This is indeed a momentous occasion for our two great nations, Zimbabwe and Tanzania, which share a very close history and enjoy good bilateral relations. The re-opening of this route by Air Tanzania bears testimony to these relations.
“This historic re-launch is expected to open a whole chapter from an economic point of view as it enables our citizens to enjoy our diverse tourist attractions, which include Mt Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar in Tanzania and locally the majestic Victoria Falls and the Great Zimbabwe, as well as improved trade and commerce between the two countries. This increased connectivity will make it easier for tourists around the world to visit these attractions for the benefit of our states,” she said.
Zimbabwe is currently sprucing its various airports in the country with a view to attract more airlines as a way of boosting tourist arrivals, already more airlines are now flying into Victoria Falls after the upgrade.
Minister Mupfumira added that the aviation industry plays a critical role and is indispensable for tourism, which anchors on reliable and convenient air services to facilitate the arrival of larger numbers of tourists to a region or country.
“The re-introduction of flights on this route, by Air Tanzania, is a confidence boosting gesture which serves to demonstrate the airline’s Pan-African vision and outlook. We, therefore, greatly welcome this development in the spirit of Africa Agenda 2063 for enhanced intra-Africa trade and tourism.
“I therefore appeal for Air Tanzania and Air Zimbabwe to work closely together to expand complementary transport links and connectivity while ensuring a safe and efficient air travel. This is more critical now, as our national airline Air Zimbabwe is undergoing revitalization,” she said.
It is estimated that just over half of all tourists travel by air. Aviation-related tourism supports 35 million jobs worldwide, in total, thereby contributing more than US$800 billion to global GDP. Regionally, the impact of tourism can be even more profound with new air services increasing the propensity to travel.
Forecasts from the industry body International Air Transport Association (IATA) suggest that by 2034, 7.3 billion airline passengers will be travelling globally, more than double the 3.5 billion passengers that travelled by air in 2015, with a significant number of these additional passengers flying.-